Colombo, January 21 (newsin.asia): The Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, is set to assume a bigger role in taking decisions on economic matters, breaking the virtual monopoly enjoyed by his alliance partner, the United National Party (UNP), headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Daily Mirror quoted the President as telling a party meeting in Kegalle on Saturday, that the UNP will no longer have authority to manage the economic affairs of the country. However, Colombo Gazette quoted UNP Minister Dr.Harsha de Silva as assaying that the President had been misinterpreted.
According to Daily Mirror the President told his party men: “I allowed the UNP to manage the economy for the last three years. That ends now as I will take responsibility for all the economic affairs from now on.”
Sirisena said he would directly manage the economy through a Special Economic Council headed by him, taking over the responsibility from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his party the UNP.
In November 2014, Sirisena had joined hands with the UNP to topple Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 8, 2015, Presidential election. But the duo have not been able to work together with total understanding.
Economic issues have divided them as Sirisena is Left of Center and the UNP is Right of Center.
The UNP has indicated it may go it alone in the next general election in 2020. And Sirisena has publicly accused the UNP of being corrupt, specially in the issuance of Central Bank bonds.
However, UNP Minister Dr.Harsha De Silva is quoted by Colombo Gazette as saying that he spoke to the President and he had a different version to give.
All that Sirisena had said was that he would, from now on, be using the National Economic Council (NEC) more for the betterment of the economy, Dr.de Silva said.
The NEC is currently under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who heads the UNP also.
(The featured image at the top shows Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with President Maithripala Sirisena)